Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For the first time in U.S. Open women's singles history, it's gonna start raining Min!

Grace Min won the 2011 U.S. Open girls' singles title.

Yesterday I wrote about Dan Evans and how I saw him lose in the first round at the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships last month in Lexington, Ky. Today's Open schedule features another familiar face from the Lexington Challenger event, only this time our connection is even stronger.

For reasons I'll never truly understand, Matt and I were invited to commentate a tennis match at the Fifth Third tournament for the USTA. Again, why we were asked, I'll never know. But we did it and had a blast providing our insight and unique perspective (with help from 14-year tennis pro Joanne Wallen) to the USTA's online audience with viewers tuning in from all over the world.

The match we were assigned to for our tennis color commentating debut featured ITF women's circuit competitors Sanaz Marand and Grace Min, two strangers to The Outer Courts crew. But after calling what felt like the longest tennis match in the history of the sport -- like watching two tinier, prettier versions of Isner and Mahut do battle -- we have a bond with Marand and Min forever. You always remember your first, they say.

So now that you know the background, you can only imagine our excitement when we saw Grace Min's name on the 2013 U.S. Open's women's singles draw. 

Grace Min?! OUR Grace Min?! Could it be????!!!!

It's true. Grace Min, our Grace Min, survived the qualifying gauntlet to reach her first U.S. Open singles tournament. Today she'll face Karin Knapp of Italy, ranked 94 places higher, and I'll be her biggest supporter sitting courtside.

Will she remember me? Of course not. The moment was only memorable for one of us. But I remember her, the winner of my first match as a commentator, the one I'll never forget, and I couldn't be happier to see her here in Flushing Meadows.

Time to bring back my catchphrase from that night Lexington:

"It's raining Min! Hallelujah, it's raining Min!"